The second annual Chicago Open Air festival drew 70,000 rock music fans to Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL July 14-16, 2017. America’s Greatest Metal Experience featured a rare U.S. festival appearance from KISS and one of the first performances by Ozzy Osbourne since reuniting with guitarist Zakk Wylde.
The three-day festival featured over 40 music performances, also including Saturday headliners Korn, plus Rob Zombie, Slayer, Godsmack, Megadeth, Stone Sour (ShipRocked 2018 headliners), Seether, Anthrax, Lamb of God, Meshuggah, Amon Amarth, and many more on the Main Stage and the BlackCraft Stage.
Chicago Open Air brought fans, media, and bands from around the U.S. and throughout the world to Chicago. Media outlets came from as far as England, China, Mexico, Canada, and Finland, while bands represented the best from the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Poland, and South Africa.
Clay Busch, Vice President of Marketing for Danny Wimmer Presents explains, “After the incredible debut of the Chicago Open Air festival in 2016, we knew we had to come back even bigger and better in 2017. We have our great heavy metal family in the Chicago area to thank for welcoming us back so strongly and showing us there is a community of fans here that enjoys coming together in the spirit of music. We look forward to building on that relationship in the years to come and solidifying Chicago Open Air as America’s greatest heavy metal experience.”
Here’s a sample of the media’s positive feedback on Chicago Open Air:
“…one of the finest heavy line-ups of the summer descended on Chicago for the second annual Chicago Open Air festival…Every single era of heavy music is represented in some form at COA this year, with everything from stadium metal to grindcore getting a showing across the weekend – and the honest result is that it only goes to show how strong the scene is at the moment. When you’ve got everyone from legends like Slayer and Korn, to modern heavyweights like Lamb Of God and Amon Amarth, to rising young bloods like Code Orange and Avatar all on damn fine form, it’s hard not to be excited as fuck about where the genre is at.” (Merlin Alderslade, Metal Hammer, July 18, 2017)
“The 2017 edition of Chicago Open Air rocked the Windy City over the weekend, and it featured a dream lineup for metal and hard rock fans.” (Loudwire.com, July 17, 2017)
“In its second year Chicago Open Air shows it’s got the heavy-rock market cornered…The festival also captures the breadth of the genre while leaving itself open to people with only scant knowledge of metal.” (Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, July 6, 2017)
“Rock and Metal Fans…Chicago Open Air needs to be in your list of TOP musical destinations.” (Tattoo.com, July 16, 2017)
In addition to music, a number of special events, onsite attractions, and festival partners make Chicago Open Air a must-attend destination.
Chicago Open Air featured a variety of unique entertainment offerings to go along with its incredible music, food, and beverage lineup, including the Monster Energy Experience (featuring signings with Chicago Open Air artists), Headbangers Bier Hall: Presented by Decibel Magazine (a metal themed dive bar featuring national and regional craft beers and artist inspired beverages), the Jack Daniel’s Experience, The Music Experience, Ellefson Coffee House, Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden, Heavy Tiki Bar,Kuma’s Corner, BlackCraft apparel shop, FYE Fan Experience (hosting signings and pop-up performances with artists from participating record labels Roadrunner, Century Media / Another Century, Nuclear Blast / SharpTone Records, Spinefarm and Razor & Tie), Fxck Cancer and the Dyin 2 Live Dreams program, and the Take Me Home animal rights advocacy foundation.
Chicago Open Air is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, Live Nation and Toyota Park, with the support of the Village of Bridgeview and Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek.
Chicago Open Air sponsors include: Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, FYE, Revolution Brewing, BlackCraft Clothing, Ellefson Coffee, Dyin 2 Live / Fxck Cancer, Take Me Home Animal Rescue, The Music Experience, Razor & Tie, Nuclear Blast, Sharptone, Spinefarm, Roadrunner Records, and Century Media Records.
(All photos by Steve Thrasher, courtesy of Danny Wimmer Presents)